Premier is known for high-end pontoons with crazy amounts of power, such as the 12-foot-wide Dodici we tested last year. It had triple 300s on it, so it’s a little difficult to get used to the idea that there is something called an entry-level Premier pontoon, but there is, and the 220 SunSation does its best to confuse the issue. Paired with a Honda BF100, the SunSation starts at $36,373 but looks like it costs more. Simply adding the Atomic rails ($3,369) turns the already good-looking 220 into a real eye-grabber. Our test boat featured Atomic Blue rails, which, in addition to Atomic Red, was introduced last year. It ratcheted up the color intensity and contrasted it against matte-black, hammered-look fencing to greater effect.
This year, new upholstery helps elevate the SunSation beyond its humble place in Premier’s hierarchy. Contrasting colors and textures and a pop of piping color that matches the rails bring it all together. The fencing dips slightly toward the bow, giving the overstuffed seating the look of a rising soufflé. Up front are matching recliner sofas that can be conjoined by a bow gate filler sectional. Despite being a sub-23-footer, it includes an unappreciated feature: a starboard-side boarding gate, which makes it far easier for the driver to dock, because of the unencumbered visibility. The L-lounge creates plenty of seating on the rear half and conceals a popup changing room under the stern sunpad. Our test boat had the optional Rockford Fosgate Bluetooth stereo ($538) with the subwoofer ($569), which upped its party factor.
Our test boat was set up for cruising and light-duty watersports with the standard 25-inch twin-tube configuration. It was matched with Honda’s newest outboard, the BF100, which includes technology such as Variable Valve Timing & Lift Control (VTEC), which flattens the power curve. Out of the hole, BLAST technology advances the timing when you jam the throttle hard and got the 220 SunSation on plane in 2.7 seconds. Time to 25 mph was 9.8 seconds and was near its top speed of 25.9 mph. We’re not sure it was propped correctly for our test, since it was only turning 4800 rpm with a high-revving outboard that’s capable of reaching 6300 rpm. Triple-tube options are available with up to 175 hp for buyers looking to enliven its performance.